Written by 5:08 pm The Guides

Ceiling Fan Direction for Summer + Winter

Yes, you can use your ceiling fan all year long. To make sure it works well for each season, all yo…
Hover LED Ceiling Fan in a bedroom.
Hover LED Ceiling Fan by Hinkley

It may seem a bit odd to use ceiling fans in winter, but most fans are built for year-round use, saving money on both heating and cooling costs. This is done by changing the direction that a ceiling fan’s blades are moving (clockwise or counter-clockwise). Depending on the model, the ceiling fan’s direction can be changed through the reverse switch on the fan’s motor or on a remote control. 

Vail LED Ceiling Fan in a rustic living room.
Vail LED Ceiling Fan by Hinkley

Ceiling Fan Direction in Summer: Counter-Clockwise 

During the summer, run your fan’s blades counter-clockwise to blow air downward and create a cooling breeze. When a ceiling fan rotates counterclockwise, the airflow it creates helps push away the stagnant layer of air that surrounds you. By moving this air, your body is able to cool itself easier even if the temperature of the room does not actually change. Because of this, leaving a ceiling fan on in an unoccupied room does not do very much to cool your home since you will need to be in the room for the full effect.  

With the ceiling fan running, you can set your thermostat at a higher setting and still feel cool while saving money on air conditioning costs. If you raise the thermostat by just 2 degrees, along with using a ceiling fan regularly, you can lower energy costs by about 15% according to the EPA. 

Ball Ceiling Fan on a vaulted bedroom ceiling.
Ball Ceiling Fan by Ron Rezek for Modern Fan Company

Ceiling Fan Direction in Winter: Clockwise 

During the winter, ceiling fans can help heating systems operate more efficiently. Reverse the direction of the blades to turn clockwise and set the fan at a low speed. The fan’s gentle updraft will force any warm air concentrated near the ceiling to circulate down and around the living space. 

This will distribute heat more evenly and make the space feel warmer, allowing you to turn down the thermostat. The difference is especially noticeable in rooms with high ceilings, like living rooms or great rooms with tall and often vaulted ceilings. 

How Do I Change the Rotation of My Ceiling Fan? 

If you have a remote control, use that to reverse a ceiling fan’s direction. Otherwise, to change the direction of how your ceiling fan’s blades spin during the summer or winter, look for a small switch located on the fan’s motor housing. Observe the fan’s spinning direction from below the fan and then adjust its direction accordingly.